We shall not forget


The Citadel Class of: 1938  

Cadet Company: not available
Age: 27
Born: 16-Nov-16 in Rock Hill, South Carolina
Hometown: Rock Hill, York County, South Carolina
Family: Robert H. Cowan (father), Mary E. Cowan (mother),
Robert Cowan (brother), ’34, Mary Elizabeth Cowan (sister)
Rank: Coxswain
Branch of Service: U.S. Navy
Servicenumber: 8929168
Entered the Service from: South Carolina
Function: not available
Division – Transport: LST 531
Company – Squadron:
Unit – Group: United States Naval Reserve
Date of death: 28-Apr-44
Status: KIA
Place of death: English Channel
Spot: Lyme Bay, England
Awards: Purple Heart
Gravenumber: Plot C Row 0 Grave 56
Cemetery: Cambridge American Cemetery
Biography: not available
Other information:

Date of enlistment: 31-Jul-43 at NRS Spartanburg, S.C.; Reported onboard LST 531: 15-Jan-44;
LST 531 was commissioned on 9-Feb-44
Source: WWII US Navy Muster Rolls, National Archives

Coxswain Cowan Killed In Action
ROCK HILL, May 16. – Coxswain Eugene Rice Cowan of Rock Hill, has been killed in action in the
United States Navy, his family here has been notified by the War department. He was believed
serving in the European theater of war at the time of his death.
Coxswain Cowan was believed to be on a landing barge and had been in foreign service only
several months.
Surviving are his brother, Robert H. Cowan and Miss Mary Elizabeth Cowan, both of Rock Hill.
Before entering the Navy nearly a year ago he made his home on East Main street and was a
prominent young farmer of this section. He attended Rock Hill high school and The Citadel.
Source: The Greenville News, 17 May 1944, p.10.

LST-531 was taking part in EXERCISE TIGER when it was torpedoed twice by German E-boats.
It burst into flames, rolled over and sank within six minutes. Due to the top secret nature of
the exercise and the preparations for Operation Overlord, the tragic events and casualties were
not immediately reported. The losses would be later included with those incurred during the
D-Day landings. The name of Cowan, Eugene R (S1C) is included in the Exercise Tiger Roll of
Honour (LST-531 U.S. Navy).

“In the early hours of the 28th of April 1944 eight Landing Ship Tanks (LST’s), full of American
servicemen were in Lyme Bay, off the coast of Devon, England. Their purpose to take part in
EXERCISE TIGER, the realistic rehearsals for the D-Day landings in Normandy. The night turned
into tragedy as a group of patrolling German e-boats discovered and attacked them. At the end
of the series of practice landings 946 American Servicemen lost their lives.”
Source: Sherman Tank – a memorial to the tragedy of Exercise Tiger

Additional EXERCISE TIGER sources and reading:

Sources: American Battle Monuments Commission, The Citadel Archive & Museum, Mike Stannard ’65, WarMemorial.US, Sherman Tank, 1940 US Census, WWII US Navy Muster Rolls (NARA), Greenville County Library South Carolina Room

We ask for your help.
It is our objective to have complete and accurate records for each of our Citadel Men.
If you have information to contribute or correct this or any other record, please contact us or see support.

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